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Raja Calls for Congress to Pass Legislation to Help Hire More Veterans and Improve Staffing at VA Facilities

March 17, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – In advance of legislation to be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi urged his colleagues to approve a bill that would strengthen veteran hiring practices and allow the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to expand its efforts to recruit, train, promote and retain qualified doctors and other employees.

“We must make every effort to include veterans in our workforce and provide them with the highest standard of care,” said Krishnamoorthi. “This legislation will help us do both by expanding job placement for veterans and guaranteeing we can hire the staff we need to provide them with the care they deserve at the VA.”

The bill, H.R. 1367 would establish a health-care and benefits fellowship program connected to the private sector, create a database of vacancies in mission-critical positions and authorize the VA to appoint qualified students and former employees.

The fellowship would be a one-year program for employees of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and private-sector employees working for entities that provide comparable benefits or health-care services. During the fellowship, VA participants would be trained at private-sector entities, and private-sector participants would be trained at the department.

The bill would also strengthen federal veteran hiring preferences. Under current law, a veteran must have served for on active duty for 180 consecutive days to be eligible for federal hiring preferences. This bill changes that requirement to 180 cumulative days.